Programming Books FOR SALE  ***NEW***

About Me
Mount  Fat32 Filesystems
Firestarter Firewall
Recompile Kernel
Remove old kernels

Performance and Tuning     ***NEW***
Compatible Hardware     ***NEW***
Patching 2.6.10 kernel to 2.6.11      ***NEW***
Block web-ads   ***NEW***

Fedora Core 3 Tips & Hints on Toshiba A75:
My goal for this webpage is to facilitate the post-installation tasks that some
may need to do to get Fedora Core 3 correctly working on a Toshiba A75 series laptop.
Some of the information may be useful for other Toshibas but I can not verify that.
What I have here works for me.  If you find anything that is incorrect, please
email me....

Also a great page on the installation and configuring of different distros besides Fedora Core 3 on a
Toshiba A75 can be found at:

Does it work?
Intel Pentium 4 538 w/
1mb L2 cache
Kernel needs SMP support, installed by default during installation, SpeedStep also works
15.4" TruBrite WXGA, 1280x800 Screen
See Video section to dim screen brightness
ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 IGP
64 to 128mb user adjustable
See Video section to configure x server
80gb 4200rpm hard drive
See Performance & Tuning section to increase performance using hdparm
ACPI - Power management
See ACPI section to use SpeedStep
Atheros wireless, 802.11 a/b/g
See WiFi section for installation
Touch Pad
See Touch Pad section, need to disable legacy USB support through BIOS
Realtek ALC259 Sound
See Sound section, need to configure sound modules
DVD SuperMulti drive
Works, K3b recognizes flawlessly
IEEE1394, 5-in-1 multimedia port, Infared
Dont have this media, let me know if it works for you

Installation of Fedora Core 3 is pretty straight foward.  Just insert the disks
and let them go.  Just a word of advice:  When I was installing Fedora Core 3
I ran into a problem during the checking of the install CD's.  To check that I
downloaded the iso's correctly I checked them with md5sum:

[lumbrjackedpcj@blueox]# md5sum fedora_core_3.iso

Apparently there is a bug that says all the CD's are bad.  Not too sure about
it but I know I burnt the CD's correctly so I just skipped the disk checking part.
During the install everything is pretty straightfoward.  Just follow
the directions.  It's the stuff after the install that causes the problems.

If you are looking for a great tutorial on installation in general for Fedora Core 3
check out:

To configure the sound do the following:

1. First, as root open /etc/hotplug/blacklist and append to the end of the file
the following:


2. Another option is to set the default volume. To do this  open /etc/rc.d/rc.local and
append to the end of the file the following:

/sbin/modprobe snd-atiixp
amixer set Master 90% unmute
amixer set PCM 90% unmute

The above setting just unmutes the sound and puts it at 90%
volume.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not.  I still need
to see figure that out.

Video setup
***Screen brightness is not able to be controlled yet through
software.  Unfortunately
the Toshiba A75 series, and I'm sure
others, use a Phoenix BIOS
so toshiba-utils and "modprobe
toshiba_acpi" will not work.  What does work for me is using
the function keys.  Pressing 'Fn' and 'F6' will dim the screen
and 'Fn' and 'F7' will increase the brightness.

When Fedora Core 3 was first installed the video was default to
800x600.  This looks horrible on my 15.4" scree whose default is
1280x800.  To fix this I just edited my xorg.conf file as root and
specified that only 1280x800 resolution is available and I set it the
depth as 32 bit.  Also specified the video ram as 64mb.  It defaults
to that setting though. 

This is what the video section of mine looks like:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
VendorName "LGP"
ModelName "LCD Panel 1280x800"
HorizSync 31.5 - 57.0
VertRefresh 50.0 - 90.0
Modeline "1280x800" 83.91 1280 1312 1624 1656 800 816 824 841

Section "Device"
Identifier "Videocard0"
Driver "radeon"
VendorName "Videocard vendor"
BoardName "ATI Radeon Mobility 9100 IGP"
VideoRam 65536

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Videocard0"
Monitor "Monitor0"

SubSection "Display"
Viewport 0 0
Depth 32
Modes "1280x800"

Section "DRI"
Group "dri"
Mode 0666

Take a look at my entire xorg.conf file. 
Save the file, logout of your machine and press Ctrl-Alt-BackSpace to restart your
x-server.  The screen should look ALOT better now.

Touchpad setup
Initially the touchpad didn't work and I had to rely on a USB mouse.  To
correct this in a crude manner the following steps were taken:

1. First, during the Toshiba display at the beginning of booting, press
the F2 key.  This will  bring you to the bios setup. 
2. Next, press the right arrow key to select the Advanced mode.  Press the down
arrow button to select the Legacy USB Support option.  Press F5 to
disable it. 
3. Press ESC and save your settings.
4. Reboot the computer.  Touchpad should now work.

***Screen brightness, halt, suspend are not able to be controlled yet.  Unfortunately
the Toshiba A75 series, and I'm sure others, use a Phoenix BIOS
so toshiba-utils and "modprobe toshiba_acpi" will not work.

"ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) is an open industry specification
co-developed by Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Phoenix, and Toshiba".(
Basically it is a power management system for laptops.  Some adjustments that are available
to certain laptops are processor speed, screen brightness, fan control, suspend, and
hibernate.  Unfortunately ACPI support isn't fully matured for Linux. 

So far the only ACPI options that are working are battery monitor and cpu scaling.  Both
of these can be changed and monitored through klaptop_check.  To start this program,
simply go to a shell and type klaptop_check and press Enter.  This should dock the klaptop_check
icon in your system tray.   Right click on the klaptop_check icon in your system tray.  From here
you can configure klaptop or change the CPU throttling.  For CPU throttling, 50% works fine
for me.   62% tends to be too slow for me.  

To configure automatic CPU throttling if your laptop is unplugged do the following:

1. First, right click on the klaptop_check icon and select "Configure KLaptop"

2. Select the "Power Control" option at the top

3. Under the "Not Powered" side of the panel you should see a selection box with
"CPU throttle" next to it.  Check the box and select what CPU throttling you want.
Again 50% works fine for me. 

This program should start automatically for you whenever you boot your laptop...It
did for me at least :o)

Mount fat32 filesystem
Partitions 1-4 are primary partitions and partitions 5 and above
are logical partitions inside exteded partitions.  For my computer,
the fat32 filesystem is /dev/hda5.  First, create a mountpoint as
root in /mnt/ labeled 'fat32':

[root@blueox mnt]# mkdir fat32

Change the properties so that all users and read and write:

[root@blueox mnt]# chmod a+rw fat32

Next, open /etc/fstab.  Add a line that looks like:

/dev/hda5 /mnt/fat32 vfat users,rw,owner,umask=000 0 0

Save fstab and then go to /mnt/ and type as root:

[root@blueox mnt]# mount fat32

Type the 'df' command at the prompt and you should see your fat32 filesystem mounted.

[lumbrjackedpcj@blueox]# df
Filesystem              1K-blocks               Used             Available               Use%            Mounted on

/dev/hda3              10080520             4178688         5389764                  44%                      /
none                         224916                   0                 224916                     0%                /dev/shm
/dev/hda5             20472816              1918384       18554432                 10%                /mnt/fat32

Firestarter - easy firewal setup
Firestarter is a great tool to configure your firewall.  It runs
atop iptables and just adds more policies to it.
This exerpt is from Firestarter website:

"Firestarter is an Open Source visual firewall program. The software
aims to combine ease of use with powerful features, therefore
serving both Linux desktop users and system administrators.

We strongly believe that your job is to make the high level
security policy decisions and ours is to take care of the underlying
details. This is a departure from your typical Linux firewall, which
has traditionally required arcane implementation specific knowledge."

Download firestarter from
and install. The website contains some imformative documentation.

To setup so that the root password isn't required everytime you
load firestarter open up the file 'sudoers' :

[root@blueox etc]# vim /etc/sudoers

and add the line:

username ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/firestarter

where 'username' is the username you log in with.

Kernel Configuration
Hopefully here I will explain how to recompile your kernel so that
it is much more quicker and less bloated than it was when you installed

1. First make sure you have your kernel sources.  You can download the
latest and greatest kernel at
I downloaded the 2.6.10 kernel listed here

2. I really don't have the time right now to discuss all the
software you need installed ahead of time before compiling your kernel
but you should have a recent version of module-init-tools.

3. Unpack your kernel to a directory. I chose /usr/src

[root@blueox src]# tar -xvzf linux-2.6.10.tar.gz

4. Copy the .config file from your most recent working
kernel to the new unpacked kernel source.  There may be other
locations for the .config file such as /lib/modules/$kernel_source/build

[root@blueox]# cp /usr/src/linux-2.6.9/.config /usr/src/linux-2.6.10

In case you were wondering what my .config file looks like, take a look here.
(maybe it will but don't do it anyway!!!!!)

Type as root:

[root@blueox src]# make xconfig (recommended option)

This brings up the kernel configuration tool gui.  From here you can select
what you would like to have configured in the kernel.  What is great about
this tool is that it explains what each option is and gives you a recommendation
what options you should include.  One of the more important options to
select is your correct processor.  When you download a kernel as an rpm
it is most likely not optimized for your processor.  Be sure to select the processor
you have when configuring the kernel. 

Other options to configuring the kernel are:

[root@blueox]# make menuconfig ***Again I recommend using make xconfig
[root@blueox]# make config

Select what you need, save the .config file and exit.  By using "make xconfig"
it brings up a very usefull tool that lets you select what you need and also gives
descriptions of each options and suggestions.  Highly recommended that
you use "make xconfig" instead of the other options.

5. Next, as root, type the following commands in order.  This will take a while
for each of them. 

[root@blueox]# make modules
[root@blueox]# make modules_install
[root@blueox]# make install

Everything should work fine.  If it doesn't there are alot of
resources on the web in trying to fix your problem.  When I
recompiled my kernel I had no problems.  Lucky I guess... :o)

6. Finally, edit as root /boot/grub/grub.conf and select the kernel you would like to boot
in as default.  Remember, the default kernel is numbered 0, the second labeled 1, and so on.
Here is a part of my grub.conf:

title Fedora Core (2.6.10) Jan 11,'05
root (hd0,2)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.10 ro root=LABEL=/ rhgb quiet apm=off acpi=on
initrd /boot/initrd-2.6.10.img

***apm=off and apci=on refer to what power management I use on my laptop.

7. Finally, reboot and enjoy your new kernel. 

Some day I'll have some simple benchmarks on performance
improvement on the recompiled kernel.

Patching Kernel

In this section I will describe the process I took to patch the 2.6.10 kernel
to 2.6.11.

1. First, download the kernel patch from to
your directory of choice. 

2. Next, decompress the kernel.

[lumbrjackedpcj@blueox]# bunzip2 -d patch-2.6.11.bz2

This will create the file patch-2.6.11

3. Now become root and go to where you unpacked the original 2.6.10 kernel
sources.  For my installation as described above I installed the source in the
directory /usr/src/linux-2.6.10. 

4. As root, patch the kernel with the following command:

[root@blueox]# patch -p1 -i /path_to_patch_file/patch-2.6.11

5. The final step after the patching has taken place is to recompile the kernel.  To do
this simply follow the steps described here.  Go to where the source code for
the kernel is installed, and begin from here.

After you recompile the kernel, you must rebuild your driver for the Atheros
wireless chipset.  Follow these instructions here

Block web-ads
Most of us can't stand getting pummeled by ads everytime we go to a website. There
are a couple of ways to stop these ads.  One is to edit your /etc/hosts file and list
 your loopback address,, with the ad hosting address. For example, to
block ads from open up /etc/hosts as root:

[root@blueox]# vim /etc/hosts

Next, add the following line:

This will line will tell your browser to look on for the ads from  Since localhost doesn't have the ad, it won't be displated. 
You can download a hosts file that has a multitude of ads to block. 
Personally I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS approach.  I have noticed that
my computer slows down trying to search through the hosts file.

The RECOMMENDED approach for firefox and mozilla users is to go to
the chrome directory of your personal browser folder.

[lumbrjackedpcj@blueox]# cd ~/.mozilla/firefox/dxshwykf.default/chrome

The directory
dxshwykf.default will be different for you installation.

1. First, create the file userContent.css

[lumbrjackedpcj@blueox]# touch userContent.css

2. Next, edit this file with your favorite text editor

[lumbrjackedpcj@blueox]# vim userContent.css

3. Now, following the instrunctions on,
  copy this userContent.css and paste it in yours.

Document made with Nvu

TV Products
Free Web Counter
TV Products
 since Jan. 15, 2005